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20 November 2019

The “Military” Campaigns of the Beast

Volcanic Eruption by Unsplash.com
The book of Revelation uses the language and imagery of war to portray the attempts by Satan and his earthly agents to destroy the saints of God. The book is not concerned with warfare between nations but the Dragon’s determination to annihilate the church while he still has time. To accomplish this, he uses deception, compromise, and persecution.
References to “war” use the Greek verb polemeō and its noun form, polemos. For example, both forms of the word describe a cosmic battle in Chapter 12 when a “war (polemos) arose in heaven” between the Dragon and Michael and his angels.

18 November 2019

The Seed of the Woman and the Dragon - (Revelation 12:12-17)

Destruction_of_Leviathan by Gustave Dore
In Chapter 12 of the book of Revelation a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman “arrayed with the sun and the moon beneath her feet” and in labor pains (Revelation 12:1-5). The description borrows language from Joseph’s dream in which he saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars rendering homage to him; the stars represented the twelve tribes of Israel paying homage to the twelfth star, Joseph (Genesis 37:9, Revelation 12:1-5).
This Woman represents the people of God. Elsewhere, the number twelve is associated with the saints, the redeemed people of the Lamb; she is the covenant community of God from both the Old and New Testament eras (Revelation 7:4-8, 21:12-14).

27 October 2019

Revelation - Epilogue (Revelation 22:6-21)

John on the isle of Patmos
The epilogue concludes the book of Revelation by recalling earlier promises, reiterating warnings against faithlessness, demonstrating by example the necessity to render homage to God alone, and summoning Jesus to come quickly.
In the final paragraph provides testimony and assurances from uncontestable sources to the veracity and trustworthiness of the words of the book of Revelation, which are equated with prophecy and the testimony of Jesus. The book concludes with several calls for Jesus to come quickly, which will result in life for the obedient but a terrible fate for the disobedient.

New Jerusalem Inhabited - (Revelation 21:24-22:5)

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash
From Unsplash.com

In the preceding section, the city of New Jerusalem was unveiled with its massive proportions. It would take more than a tiny remnant of saints to populate it. In his continuing vision, John now sees the city populated with an innumerable multitude of redeemed men and women from all nations, even from among the “kings of the earth.”
New Jerusalem is coterminous with the New Creation and equated with the “paradise of God.” All that was lost as a result of Adam’s sin is recovered and restored but, also, infinitely enhanced and expanded. The “curse” is no more, not even the possibility of its return; therefore, the saints with the Lamb will reign “forever and ever.”

26 October 2019

New Jerusalem Unveiled - (Revelation 21:9-23)

Orthodox church buillding
John has seen already a glimpse of the city of New Jerusalem. However, it is now to be unveiled in all its glory. The next section concentrates on the city’s dimensions.  It must be borne in mind that what is presented is a vision; reality represented in symbolic language.
A city that is twenty-four hundred kilometers square is a physical improbability, if not an impossibility, in the present age; such proportions stagger the human imagination. Likewise, the image of single pearls large enough to be fashioned into city gates is difficult to grasp.

25 October 2019

The Descent of New Jerusalem - (Revelation 21:1-8)

John sees New Jerusalem descending to the earth
The following paragraph brings the third literary division of the book to its conclusion (Revelation 17:1 – 21:8). Having witnessed the destruction of Babylon, the False Prophet, the Beast from the Sea and the Dragon, as well as the final judgment, John is shown a vision of what awaits the faithful at the end of the present age – New Jerusalem descending from heaven to the earth.
Promises made to overcomers in the seven letters to the churches of Asia now find their fulfillment in the New Creation with its “holy city, “Jerusalem.” The pictures presented incorporate language from several Old Testament promises given originally to national Israel. However, the company that receives them is comprised of “peoples,” plural; faithful saints from every nation, tongue, nation, and people.